At tonight’s county council meeting, council chair Courtney Watson will introduce legislation to reconcile the differences between state and county laws governing referendums. According to an email from Courtney, the proposed bill addresses “key conflicts between State and County law by making it clear that the State law governs. In addition, this bill removes the requirement that petitions include a particular disclosure statement whenever circulated by individuals who are paid to do so. Removing this provision, which is unique to Howard County, makes it easier for petitioners to use standard State forms. The law already requires the petitioner to report all expenses which would include labor costs. The bill also corrects some obsolete nomenclature and makes other technical corrections.”
This move will undoubtedly lead to a wider debate on the other contentious issues surrounding referendums in HoCo such as the stringent signature requirements and the relatively low threshold for the number of valid signatures required to place an issue on the ballot.
And speaking of referendums, Marc Norman is headed to back to court in his continuing quest to stop Harris Teeter from opening a store in Turf Valley. According to this story by Sara Breitenbach in The Columbia Flier, his group, Citizens for Open Government “filed their intent to appeal a recent ruling from county Circuit Court Judge Timothy McCrone to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.”
I suspect that his union buddies are continuing to fund this quixotic legal attempt to keep the non union grocer from opening another store in HoCo. It’s always easier to be righteous with other people’s money.
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